Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Friday reported a marginal rise of 0.8% in its net profit in the fourth quarter, even though the company’s quarterly profits were the highest in more than two years.
Net profit rose to Rs. 5,631 crore in the quarter ended March 31 from Rs. 5,589 crore during the same period a year ago. Sales rose 13% to Rs. 97,807 crore in the quarter from Rs. 86,618 crore in the same period a year ago.
For the full financial year, the company reported a record net profit of Rs. 21,984 crore, the highest by any private sector company in the country. Net profit was 4.7% higher than the Rs. 21,003 crore it made in 2012-13.
Turnover was also at a record high of Rs. 401,302 crore, up 8.1% from Rs. 371,119 crore in the previous financial year.
“2013-14 was a satisfying year for RIL...refining business delivered the highest ever profits with a sharp recovery in gross refining margins (GRMs) towards the end of the year...petrochemical earnings grew sharply with margin expansion across polymers and downstream polyester products,” RIL’s chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.
“Exports contributed to a big part of company’s performance...73-74% of overall turnover last year,” the company’s CFO Alok Agarwal said. RIL also announced a turnaround in its retail business and said it is now India’s largest retail chain. “RIL’s retail business has turned around and is now India’s largest retail chain,” Ambani said.
The company said it has accelerated efforts to roll out its state-of-the-art 4G services across the country.
RIL, which operates the world’s biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in Gujarat, earned $9.3 on turning every barrel of crude oil into fuel during the quarter, compared with a GRM of $10.1 a barrel a year earlier and $7.60 a barrel in the preceding three months.
Analysts do not expect RIL’s Q4 performance to impact its share price. “Iinvestors are likely to look beyond Q4 results and focus firmly on the impact of the $14-billion downstream projects and the $9-10-billion telecom foray,” brokerage firm Barclays said in a report.
“Based on improvement in performance of retail and shale gas ventures, we would expect subsidiaries to report a profit in the consolidated annual results for FY14 against a small loss in FY13,” global investment banking firm Jefferies said in a report.